William Wilson Hunter.

The imperial gazetteer of India (Volume 7) online

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stone is in many places largely burned for lime. Through the
greater portion of the State red sandstone abounds, and in parts,
near the city especially, white sandstone blends with it. In many
localities the villages are built entirely of stone, the roofs even being
formed of loosely-placed, overlapping slabs. Iron-ore is found in the
hills north-east of Karauli, but the mines will not pay working expenses ;
and the iron manufactured in the State is smelted from imported ore.

Forest and Jungle Products. — The hills of Karauli, especially the
higher ones, are generally bare of trees, but there are many exceptions.
Above the Chambal valley, the commonest tree growing in any quantity
together is the ddo (Lythrum fruticosum), which is scarcely more
than a shrub. Other common trees are the dhdk (Butea frondosa),
several kinds of acacias, and also the cotton -tree (Bombax), the
sal (Shorea robusta), the garjan (Dipterocarpus alatus), and the ti'un
(Melia azadirachta). But the more valuable timber -trees are not
numerous anywhere throughout the State. There is no forest, but
groves of trees producing timber for the city are grown some 10 miles
south-west of Karauli.

Fauna.— In the wooded glens near the Chambal, there are tigers,
bears, sdmbhar, nilgai, and deer. In the uplands, also, game is


found near water, but it is nowhere abundant. In the neighbourhood
of the town there are several covers for game and grass preserves.
Hares, brown partridge, quail, and golden plover are the most common
kinds of small game. In the large tanks water-fowl are to be found ;
and in the Chambal wild geese, cranes and wild duck abound, and
also otters and crocodiles. In the west of the State snakes are nume-
rous ; near the city there are few. Fish are plentiful in the Chambal, in
the streams near the city, and in the larger tanks.

Fopidation. — The total population of the State in 1874 was estimated
at about 140,000, calculated from a return of the number of houses
in the State, five individuals being allowed to each house. This
estimate appears to have been a close approximation to the truth,
for the regular Census of 1881, taken on the 17th February, returned
the total population at 148,670; the males numbering 80,645, the
females 68,025; dwelling in i town and 861 villages; number
of houses, 25,930; number of persons per house, 57; number ot
persons per square mile, 123. Classified according to religion, the
Hindus numbered 139,237; Muhammadans, 8836; Jains, 580; and
Christians, 17. Among the Hindus are included 22,174 Brahmans,
8182 Rajputs, 9620 Mahajans and Baniyas, 15,112 Gujars, 27,819
Minas, 18,278 Chamars, 808 Jats, and 37,244 'others.' The bulk of
the Brahmans are petty traders, who carry their merchandise on small
pack-cattle, which are their own property. The Minas, who are
cultivators, form the most numerous class in the State. The Rajputs,
though numerically few, constitute the most important class. They are
almost entirely composed of families of the Jadun clan (to which
the ]\Iahdraja belongs) ; and, like other Rajputs, the Jadun is a
brave soldier, but a bad agriculturist. The feudal aristocracy of the
State consists entirely of Jadun thdku?'s (nobles) connected with
the ruling house. They pay a tribute in lieu of constant military
service, which is not performed in Karauli ; but on military or
State emergency they are bound to attend with their retainers,
who on these occasions are maintained at the expense of the
Raja. The number of Muhammadans is insignificant everywhere but
in the city of Karauli, where Pathans compose the most trusted portion
of the State troops. The worship of Vishnu under the name of
Krishna is the prevalent form of religion among the Hindus.

Agriciilhtre. — The soil throughout the State is generally light.
Except on the banks of the Chambal, where wheat, barley, gram,
and tobacco are grown, and in the rocky tracts above, where rice
is the chief product, bajra (Pennisetum typhoideum) and jodr
(Sorghum vulgare) cover a larger portion of the cultivated area
than any other crops, and form the staple food of the population.
Suiiar-cane is ctowu on a small scale, but it is not of a fine kind.



Hemp is grown extensively in the neighbourhood of the city of
Karauh'. There are three modes of irrigation — from tanks, from
wells, and from the rise of the Chambal. Tanks, formed by dams
being thrown across the line of rain-drainage, are the principal
means of irrigation in the rocky and hilly portions of Karauli.
In the beds of these tanks rice is grown in the rainy season, and
the stored water often makes possible a grain crop in the spring.
Well irrigation is chiefly employed in the country surrounding the
capital. In the valley of the Chambal, it is only on the verge of the
receding water that a crop can be produced through the influence of
the river. The banks are usually too high to place the water-line
within the reach of irrigating wells. A temporary settlement, based
on the payments of the five years ending 1882, is in operation.

Manufactures and Trade. — There are very few manufactures in
Karauli ; a little weaving, dyeing, some wood-turning and stone-cutting
form the employment of a small class, but the people are almost exclu-
sively agriculturists. The principal imports are piece-goods, salt, sugar,
cotton, buffaloes, and bullocks j the chief exports are rice, cotton, and

Administration. — A considerable part of the revenue is raised from
customs, although, of course, the land revenue brings in the greater
jjortion. The gross revenue of Karauli in 1881 amounted to
^48,381, and the expenditure to ^£"42,958. There is no regular
police force in the State, with the exception of a small body of 25
men kept up in the city for that purpose. The police duties in the
rural parts are performed by the troops. Judicial work is carried on in
the criminal court at Karauli and in the tahsilddrs' courts. There is
a central jail at Karauli city, where there is also a post-office and a
mint at which silver coins are struck. The Karauli rupee is about
equal in value to the British rupee. An English and Persian school
was established at the capital in 1864, where there are also 7 Hindu
schools. Education in the State is generally backward. There is
one well-appointed hospital in the city of Karauli, but there are no
dispensaries in the outlying tracts. The erection of dispensaries at
Mandrel, Sapotra, and Machilpur is contemplated. A military force
is maintained of 160 cavalry, 1770 infantry, 32 artillerymen, with 40
light guns. These troops hold the following 12 masonry forts of the
State, viz. Karauli city, Uthgarh, Mandrel, Naroli, Sapotra, Daulatpura,
Thali, Jambura, Khiida, Ninda, Und, and Khodai.

Climate, etc. — The rainfall at Karauli city amounted to 30-8 inches
in 1881. Fever, dysentery, and rheumatism are the prevailing diseases.
Epidemic disease rarely penetrates into the State.

History. — The Maharaja of Karauli, Arjun Pal, is the head of the
Jadun clan of Rajputs, who claim descent from Krishna, and are


regarded as Yaduvansi\ or descendants of the moon. The clan has
always remained in or near the country of Braj round Muttra
(Alathura), and once held Biana, which was taken from them by the
Muhammadans in 1053 a.d. In 1454, Karauli was conquered by
Mahmiid Khilji, King of Malwa. After the conquest of JMalwa by
Akbar, the State became incorporated with the Delhi Empire ; and on
the decline of the Mughal power it appears to have been so far sub-
jugated by the Marathas that they exacted from it a tribute of ^2500
annually. This tribute was transferred to the British in 18 17 by the
Peshwa, and was remitted by Government on the engagement of the
Alaharaja to furnish troops according to his means on the requisition
of the British Government ; at the same time, the State was taken
under British protection.

In 1852, Maharaja Narsingh Pal died, and there being no direct
successor, the question was debated whether the State should
lapse to the British Government. It was finally determined to
preserve the succession ; and an heir was found in Maharaja Madan
Pal, v/ho during the Mutiny of 1857 evinced a loyal spirit, and
eventually sent a body of troops against the Kotah mutineers. For
these services he was created a G. C.S.I. ; his salute was raised from
15 to 17 guns for his Hfetime ; a debt of ^11,700 due by him to the
British Government was remitted, and a dress of honour conferred.
Madan Pal died in 1869, and the three chiefs who have succeeded
him have each been selected by adoption. In 1883, a Council of
regency, divided into three departments, conducted the internal admini-
stration of the State.

Karauli (AV^TtV^^).— Capital of the Native State of Karauli, in
Rajputana; situated about 75 miles equidistant from Muttra, Gwalior,
Agra, Alwar (Ulwur), Jaipur (Jeypore), and Tonk. Lat. 26° 30' n.,
long. 77° 4' E. It is said to derive its name from Kalianji, a temple
built by Arjun Deo, who likewise founded the cit}^, about a.d. 1348.
But it did not prosper, owing to the depredations of the Minds, until
these were put down by Raja Gopal Das, in whose reign Karauli
became a considerable town, and fine buildings began to spring up. In
1881 the population was returned at 25,607 souls; Hindus numbering
19,829; Muhammadans, 5339; and 'others,' 439.

Viewed from points whence the palace is seen to advantage, the
town has a striking appearance. It is surrounded by a wall of sand-
stone, and is also protected on the north and east by deep winding
ravines, cut by the action of water in the level plain. These, if properly
defended, would probably prove an insuperable obstacle to unscientific
invaders. To the south and west, the ground is comparatively level,
but advantage has been taken of a conveniently situated watercourse
to form a moat to the city wall ; while an outer wall and ditch defended


by bastions has been carried along the other bank, so forming a double
line of defence. These fortifications are due to Rajd Gopal Das, and
though too strong for the desultory attacks of the Marathas, would be
far less formidable to regular troops than were the mud walls of

The sandstone wall of Karauli, in spite of its handsome appearance,
is unsubstantially built, being composed of ill-cemented stones,
faced by thin slabs after the fashion which prevails throughout
the State wherever sandstone is abundant and buildings of any pre-
tension are erected. The circumference of the town is somewhat
under 2\ miles, and it contains 6 gates, besides ii posterns. Brah-
mans and Mahajans are the most important classes. The streets are
narrow and irregular, impassable for carriages, and difficult for any
wheeled conveyance. The late Maharaja Jai Singh Pal made a com-
mencement of paving the streets, and built an extensive sa7'di for the
accommodation of merchants and travellers. The most striking
characteristic is the superabundance of sandstone, as the sole
building material. The roofs of the poorer houses are formed of
slabs, sloping and overlapping one another very roughly, but not
ineffectively arranged, and supported by logs of wood or long
triangular pieces of stone. The principal hdzdr stretches east from
the westernmost gate towards the palace. It is about half a mile
in length, but irregular and wanting in neatness. There are many
costly houses and handsome temples.

The palace is 200 yards from the eastern wall of the city, and
occupies a space of about 150 yards square. In its present state it
was erected by Raja Gopal Das. The whole block of buildings is
surrounded by a lofty bastioned wall, in which there are two fine gates.
Within the palace, the Rang Mahal and Diwan-i-Am, with their mirrors
and fine colours, are beautiful specimens of native ornament. The
:Madan Mohanji, though the chief temple in the town, is of no great
beauty. The Saroman temple is a handsome building of red sand-
stone, decorated with elegant tracery, in the modern Muttra style.
The principal gardens are those of Shikarganj, Shikar iVlahal, and
Khawas Mahal. European visitors are generally accommodated in
the building within the Khawas Mahal. Post-office, dispensary, and

Karchhana (or A rail). — The central fahsil of the three tahsils to
the south of the Jumna in Allahabad District, North-Western Pro-
vinces. It is conterminous with pargand Arail, and is surrounded on
the north, east, and south by the Jumna, Ganges, and Tons rivers, and
bounded on the west by Barah tahsil. Karchhana is an irregular-
shaped tract, consisting of lands of a very varied character. To the
extreme west, the stone hills and black soil valleys of Barah tahsil are


found in a few villages ; but most of the land on the Barah borders is
low-lying clay soil {jnatiydr). A strip of fine level loam running north-
west and south-east lies north of the clay tract, and extends to the
confluence of the Ganges and the Tons. East of this is a low-lying
tract of land, flanked by a high bank, evidently an old bed of the
Ganges. Water lies close to the surface, and the land is so moist as to
dispense with the necessity for irrigation. Except this low-lying tract,
the country along the three rivers consists of strips of high-lying, undu-
lating land, much cut up by drainage lines. Below these, on the
Ganges and Jumna, there are at intervals patches of rich alluvial land
and large tracts of sandy waste. There is also a tract of alluvial land
at the confluence of the Ganges and the Tons, and two islands in the
bed of the former river. These are liable at any time to have their
value largely increased by alluvial deposits ; or, on the other hand, to
be entirely washed away by floods.

The original inhabitants of the tahsil are said to have been Bhars,
and traces of them still remain in the ruined mounds of earth and .
brick which mark the site of their forts. From the western portion
along the Jumna, the Bhars were driven by Iradat Khan, the reputed
ancestor of the present Pathan zaniinddrs. The northern portion along
the Ganges was taken by Bais Rajputs, whose descendants claim to
have held their land since the days of Akbar. The east of the tahsil
was occupied by Hirapuri Pandes ; and the south by a branch of the
Kanauj royal family of Gaharwar Rajputs. The predominating culti-
vating classes at the present day are Brahmans, Kurmis, Rajputs, and

Karchhana tahsil is densely populated, with a pressure of 47 1 "8 persons
per square mile. Total population (1881) 124,094, namely, 62,698
males and 61,396 females. Hindus numbered 115,113; Muham-
madans, 8942 ; Jains, 2 ; and Christians, 37. Of the 339 villages,
265 contained less than five hundred inhabitants, and only one had
upwards of three thousand. Area of the tahsil^ 263 square miles, of
which 169 square miles are cultivated, 45 square miles are cultivable,
and 49 square miles barren and waste. Government land revenue
(1881), ^26,663, or including local rates and cesses levied on land,
;^3i,i49. Amount of rent, including cesses paid by cultivators,
^44,432. The tahsil is intersected by the main line of the East Indian
Railway, and by the Jabalpur extension of the same line. The metalled
high road between Allahabad and Nagpur runs through the west of the
tahsil^ which is also crossed by several good unmetalled roads. In
1883, the /^//5// contained one criminal court, with two police stations
{tahsils) ; strength of regular poHce, ■t^t, men, with 261 chaiikidars or
village watchmen.

KarchMna. — Village in Allahabad District, North-Western Pro-


vinces, and head-quarters of Karcbhana tahsil ; situated 13 miles south-
cast of Allahabad city, with which it is connected by an unmetalled
road. Lat. 25' 17' 2" n., long. 81° 57' 32" e. A neat little village,
with a population of 801 souls, and a station on the East Indian
Railway. Besides the usual sub-divisional courts and offices, the
village contains an imperial post-office, police station, and Anglo-
vernacular school.

Kardong. —Village in Kangra District, Punjab, in the Sub-division
of Lahul. Lies on the left bank of the Bhaga, almost immediately
opposite Kielang. It is the largest and most striking village in the
Lahul valley, with better built houses than in other villages.





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DS405 H94 1 RE
The imperial gazetteer of


Online LibraryWilliam Wilson HunterThe imperial gazetteer of India (Volume 7) → online text (page 57 of 57)